March 28, 2011

Spring Break II: California Academy of Sciences

School is like a slap in the face after spring break. I mean, not even school (because I didn't actually have class today), but all the responsibility that has accumulated around school and being in college. It's actually kinda crazy how FAST spring break ended and responsibility began- the minute I woke up this morning, it was brush teeth/ change/ coffee/ out the house/ to Sproul to get contact list/ on the F to San Francisco/ to work + all the tiny little details that's part of my internship/ nonprofit site visit/ home for dinner/ AYS meeting/ email + reading + essay writing + case meeting

I'm actually really exhausted. Aaaaacccckkkkk.

But anyway. On to better days:

The Shakespeare Garden at the Golden Gate Park is one of the loveliest little walled gardens I've been in- all softly blooming trees and leaf-trodden pathways. There's even a little sun dial in the middle of the path, and there are benches all around.
(This is how we took 20 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the entrance of the California Academy of Sciences... we are easily distracted people)

The Planeterium was super cool. It's basically a huge Imax theater, and they show this incredible movie on the story of the Big Bang. There's even live commentary in the middle of show to include some of the more up-to-date scientific research, and it's just incredibly magical. I found out today that you had to come at 9am when the center was first opened in order to struggle to get into the Planeterium show! We didn't have to do that- we easily got tickets, but I think it's because we went on a Tuesday, but even then, the theatre was still 5/6th full and the center was by no means empty.

This was possibly my favourite part of the center- it's an actual rainforest in a glass dome in the middle of the center, and they actually heat it up and make it humid such that it REALLY feels like you're in a rainforest. They divide it into 3 layers, and showcase different animals at each level.

In the undergrowth, you get ugly, squelchy animals-

And in the treetop canopy layer you get the gorgeous ones!

It was absolutely magical because there were tons of butterflies and birds flitting about, and they come so near to you. It actually got really, really humid and hot and it felt a little like being back home. Which made me a little sad. Sometimes homesickness just creeps up on you, and there's just this itch between your shoulders that makes it hard to concentrate on anything but the absence of something. It's easier to say that it's "homesickness" when you're far away from home, even though the very concept of home is unstable.

All of this was hiding under the rainforest! I loved how the center integrated everything together. They had huge walls of fish and it was absolutely gorgeous.

The colours of these fish!! The pink and orange one reminded me SO much of the Zara outfits I just posted.

Crazy camouflagey fish. Their skin would turn grainer once they settled into the sand to look like the ground. And their eyes were on the same side of their head (they swam HORIZONTALLY- it was mind blowing)

Teletubbies clearly come out to play on the center's Living Roof.

Ending with a gratuitously happy shot of us in front of fountain between the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young. Going to the California Academy of Sciences felt like going on a primary school field trip- reminded me of how we would take trips to the Discovery Center or the Science Center. Good times.

California Academy of Sciences is at:
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

$30 for adult admission (unless you're like me with a bright happy shiny green pass. Then you and a guest get in for free. Beams happily to self). I highly recommend you go on a weekday- I went to the de Young on a Sunday and it was RIDICULOUSLY crowded. SF people, stop being so culture-conscious. You should be at home sleeping on a Sunday afternoon instead of out museum-hopping!

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